|Ancestor approved : intertribal stories for kids|
This collection of intersecting stories bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.
|Editor:||Smith, Cynthia Leitich|
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 511393
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/15/20)
Booklist (+) (02/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2021 *Starred Review* Sixteen short stories, two poems, and visual art (not viewed) present Native youth attending a two-day intertribal powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and reflect on kinship, community, and the interconnectedness of the experience. The narratives vary in style and tone: in Monique Gray Smith's Fancy Dancer, a young boy gains a kind stepfather, who teaches him the Dance for Mother Earth; Tim Tingle's Warriors of Forgiveness features young Luksi, who accompanies a bus full of elders on a hilarious road trip from Oklahoma to Michigan; Rebecca Roanhorse's Rez Dog Rules reflects on the powwow from a canine perspective; and foster child Aiden receives special regalia from his biological brother in David A. Robertson's Brothers. Most selections are realistic and ultimately upbeat, although Art Coulson's Wendigos Don't Dance explores the supernatural, and Eric Gansworth's Indian Price confronts the indignities of microaggressions lobbed by those who would pretend to be Indian as a game. Each piece is tribally specific, emphasizes Native values (cooperation, forgiveness, and the importance of family), and features characters that make cameo appearances in other stories, adding cohesiveness to the collection. With exceptionally strong writing throughout, and appended with glossary, author notes, and acknowledgements, this makes an appealing choice for those just learning about contemporary Indigenous life as well as readers well versed with the powwow circuit. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2021 Gr 3–6—Editor Smith and 16 other authors and artists collaborate in this #OwnVoices short story collection from HarperCollins's HeartDrum imprint, which was created to "highlight the voices of Native creators." Each story focuses on a different character and their experience of an intertribal powwow in Michigan. The stories range from solemn to silly, but each emphasizes the power of the tribal community to support and heal its members. The well-edited volume begins with welcoming and humorous tales before moving into heavier territory. Each creator provides a short biography in the back matter, which includes their tribal affiliation and other works, in addition to their acknowledgements and notes on their contributions to the book. This anthology aims to both increase Native representation in middle grade literature and promote knowledge and understanding in non-Native readers. While not every story will be equally engaging for every reader and some points of overlap might seem a bit redundant, there is still more than enough to recommend this for school and public libraries everywhere. VERDICT All libraries should make room on their shelves for this collection of Native-voiced stories. Recommended.—Taylor Worley, Springfield P.L., OR - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.